LinkedIn sent your friends too many emails, and all you got was $1,500 (maybe)
Whether it's the canned kind or the sort that involves male enhancement products, spam is generally worthless – unless the spam in question came from LinkedIn, and arrived in your potential connections' inboxes repeatedly, with your name and without your consent. In that case, it might be worth a share of a recent $13 million settlement.
First, the background. Perkins v. LinkedIn, brought by nine professionals in California on behalf of a group of users, alleged that LinkedIn failed to inform them that by using the "Add Connections" feature, they would allow the service to send two follow-up emails to anyone they choose to contact.
LinkedIn filed to dismiss the case, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh allowed the suit to go forward, agreeing that the multiple emails could harm users' right of publicity under California law, saying that "the second and third endorsement emails could injure users' reputations by allowing contacts to think that the users are the types of people who spam their contacts."
LinkedIn agreed to pay a $13 million settlement to users who were members between Sept. 17, 2011, and Oct. 31, 2014, and used the "Add Connections" feature.
So, How Much Money Are We Talking Here?
For the plaintiffs, a nice little chunk of change: $1,500. For anyone else who was affected, it depends. LinkedIn has been notifying users who might be eligible by email (ha!), and The Huffington Post reports that each could receive up to $1,500.
In all likelihood, though, the number will be less – a lot less. In fact, the settlement includes a provision that if the settlement works out to be less than $10 per person, LinkedIn will kick in an extra $750,000.
How Do I File a Claim?
If you've received an email, or feel that you should be included in the settlement, you can file a claim at this website. All claims must be filed before 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time, on Dec. 14, 2015.
If you're not sure if you've received an email from LinkedIn, maybe now is the time to stop ignoring their messages, and check your inbox – just this once.
"It will be interesting to see what happens if users ignore this settlement notice," Mike Murphy notes at Quartz. "Will LinkedIn send out a follow-up email?"